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Recent Blog Posts

When do I need to trim my cat’s claws?

It sounds ludicrous, but trimming your cat’s nails is possible. If your pet is shredding your furniture, it’s time to consider this option. When do I need to trim my cat’s claws? Trimming yours cat’s claws sounds like an agonizing experience, but with some patience, can actually save you stress by preventing Kitty from sharping his nails on household furniture. While not generally necessary, you may want to consider investing in nail trimmers if you’ve tried everything and your pet is still shredding your favorite couch. A cat’s claws are made of two parts: an outer keratinized section composed of nails that your pet cannot feel, and the nail pulp in the center, which contains nerves and blood vessels. Cats naturally sharpen and shed their outer nails, which can sometimes lead to unwanted scratching of household items. If you are hesitant to clip your cat’s claws, try using a repellent spray on your sofa, chair, or other item your pet is clawing first. Nail caps are also available to top Kitty’s claws and preventing him from scratching and damaging furniture. If you have tried all of the above with scratching post to no avail, however, it is time to consider trimming your cat’s claws. Similar to cutting a dog’s nails, clipping your Kitty’s claws involves cutting the hard, sensationless outer layer without cutting too far into the sensitive nail pulp. Cats control whether their nails are extended using tendons and ligaments, however, so you will have to do some extra legwork when trimming Kitty’s claws. To ease your pet into nail trimming, ensure you are in a quiet room and that your pet is in a relaxed state, such as after a meal. Place your cat on your lap and take his paw into your hand to massage it for a few seconds. If he pulls away, follow his gesture, but do not squeeze or pull his paw. Once he is still, press into the pad of his foot so the nail extends out, then immediately release his foot and reward him with a treat. Keep practicing this on different toes until you and your cat are both comfortable with the exercise. Once your cat allows you to manipulate his paws, you can introduce a pair of nail clippers designed specifically for pets.  Let him get accustomed to the sight and sound of the clippers before you try to use them, using treats to make this a positive experience. When you are ready to try trimming, clip only the end of Kitty’s claw, being careful not to cut too far and nick the vein that extends into the center of each nail. Reward your pet with treats and practice patience, as you may only be able to trim one or two nails each sitting when you first begin    It is best to start nail trimming when your cat is young, so he gets used to the process from an early age, but even older cats can learn to have their nails trimmed. Whatever your solution to unwanted clawing, however, remember that outdoor cats need their nails for climbing and self-defense, so do not trim or cap your pet’s nails unless he is a full-time house cat.

Why do cats have a third eyelid and what does it mean if it’s showing?

Many pet parents don’t know their cats have a third eyelid. That’s because when it’s visible, it’s often a sign something’s wrong. Why do cats have a third eyelid and what does it mean if it’s showing? If you’re like most cat parents, you’ve seen your pet wake from a deep slumber and noticed a translucent layer over his eye. Though this milky membrane disappears after a few quick blinks, you are not imagining it: Cats, and many other mammals, have a third eyelid. Officially called a nictitating membrane, our pets’ third eyelids serve as an extra layer of protection when they run through tall grass or during a fight with another animal. This membrane also helps moisten to eye and swipe away particles such as pollen that can cause irritation. Many other mammals, including dogs, have this third eyelid, and scientists theorize that humans once had it, too. You may be wondering why you don’t see it more often, but this is a good thing: Other than brief moments after sleep, spotting Kitty’s extra eyelid can be a sign something is wrong. The membrane may become visible due to an infection, such as pink eye, or trauma to the eye, such as a scratch on the surface of the cornea. Dental disease or abscesses may affect the nerve connected to your cat’s eye and can also cause a visible third eyelid, too. Oral infections can be in the back of your pet’s mouth, where they are not visible, so it is important to seek a veterinarian’s help if you’re noticing your pet’s third eyelid. Other causes behind a visible third eyelid include Haw’s Syndrome, a protrusion of both eyelids without an identifiable cause, and called Horner’s Syndrome, caused when the nerve connected to the eye is impacted. If you can see part of your pet’s third eyelid, bring him to the veterinarian to diagnose the problem. If only one membrane is visible, the problem is likely related to that eye, ruling out some illnesses and systemic issues. If both are showing, however, it could be a sign your cat is sick. Do not delay visiting the vet any longer than needed, as cat’s with a visible third eyelid are often in discomfort or pain. Your veterinarian can check for the above ailments through a comprehensive exam to diagnose Kitty’s problem and prescribe a cure. Cats’ third eyelids are a functional part of their anatomy that help clean and protect their eyes. If you notice just a small sliver of this membrane on close examination, do not fret. However, if your cat’s third eyelid suddenly becomes visible, it is important to take Kitty to the vet to diagnose the problem and treat the source of his pain.  

Choosing the best type of harness for your dog

Dogs love to go on walks, but pulling against a leash and collar can harm their necks. Here’s how to pick the best type of harness for Fido.   Choosing the best type of harness for your dog   Taking your dog on walks can be one of the best ways for you and your four-legged companion to bond. Getting his daily exercise can be compromised, however, when using a traditional leash and collar that can put pressure on his neck. Fortunately, harnesses provide a safe and comfortable alternative to allow you and Fido to enjoy this pastime together. Harnesses fit over dogs’ chests like a vest, reducing pressure on their neck and throat that can be harmful when they pull against it. Choosing a harness can be daunting, however, with so many models from which to choose. In selecting the best option for your pet, first, consider whether you would like a front or back clip harness. Back-clipping harnesses fasten over the top of your dog’s shoulders and provide the smoothest transition from a traditional leash and collar, while front-clip models fasten at your pup’s chest. Calm, leash-trained dogs will do well with a back-clip harness. On the other hand, front-clipping harnesses can help pets master leash training by pulling them back towards you if they attempt to run ahead on walks. However, these models become tangled in Fido’s front feet more easily, which can be frustrating if your pet does not need this extra help learning proper walking etiquette. There are also harnesses that tighten against a dog’s chest when he pulls against them, which can be a helpful transition tool for pets still mastering their leash manners. In the same way, training comes into play when choosing a harness for your pet, so do size and the type of activities in which your dog typically engages. While a harness can offer owners more control over large-breed dogs than a collar, a Great Dane will need a much heavier-duty model than a toy breed, which can be walked comfortably on a soft, lightweight harness. Especially active dogs will need a sturdy harness to match their lifestyles, and machine washable models are always a good investment to help keep your pet and home clean. Some harnesses come with padded handles for lifting active pets over obstacles on hikes or for easily removing a pet from a dog park skirmish. Others offer adjustable elements or padding that make them extra comfortable for active pets. Whatever model you choose, be sure it fits well, as an ill-fitting harness can cause discomfort by rubbing against your pet’s skin. As a general rule, you should be able to fit two fingers between the harness and your pet. Harnesses not only prevent potential trauma to your pet’s neck and throat but can help as new pets learn to walk beside you. With some research and the right harness, you can safely enjoy daily walks with your companion.
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